8 Common Galaxy S4 Problems & How to Fix Them

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update hasn’t rolled out just yet which means that Galaxy S4 users dealing with KitKat problems continue to search for potential remedies. Ahead of that Android 5.0 Lollipop update, we want to take a look at some common Galaxy S4 KitKat problems and offer some potential fixes so that device is primed and ready for Lollipop’s arrival.

Nearly two years ago, Samsung took to the stage in New York City to announce its brand new Galaxy S smartphone, a device dubbed Samsung Galaxy S4. The fourth-generation Galaxy S smartphone arrived with a number of bells and whistles including an upgraded display, faster processor, improved camera, and yes, brand new software.

When the Galaxy S4 first arrived, it was running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Since then, Samsung’s outfitted it with a number of powerful Android updates including Android 4.4 KitKat, the aging former operating system that Google rolled out at the tail end of 2013. Most Samsung Galaxy S4 users are currently on Android 4.4.2 KitKat while some in the United States are on Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

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Many Galaxy S4 users are enjoying a stable experience on Android 4.4 KitKat while others are running into Galaxy S4 problems on Google’s old OS. Samsung and its carrier partners have spent the better part of a year rolling out bug fixes and enhancements to help stabilize the software but carrier forums continue to fill up with complaints about Galaxy S4 KitKat problems.

Android 5.0 Lollipop is expected to tackle some of these issues though many users either won’t want to wait or simply can’t wait for Google’s latest update to arrive. Fortunately, there are a number of temporary and potentially permanent fixes for the Galaxy S4 problems that Galaxy S4 users should be aware of ahead of their next big update.

With that in mind, we want to take a look at some of the Galaxy S4 problems that have popped up for us (and other Galaxy S4 users) and offer some possible fixes for these issues. It’s important to note that while these fixes apply to Galaxy S4 models running KitKat, they could also work for issues that arrive with Android 5.0 Lollipop and Jelly Bean.

How to Fix Galaxy S4 Battery Life Problems

Battery life problems are one of the most common issues that smartphone owners face. Abnormal battery drain impacts just about every single smartphone on the planet, including the Samsung Galaxy S4. There is no guaranteed fix for Galaxy S4 battery life problems but there are some fixes that users will want to try if the battery stops working normally.

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More often than not, its a third-party application causing problems. That’s why we recommend booting into Safe Mode. Booting into Safe Mode will disable third-party applications which will allow you to identify potential culprits. Isolating applications will take a lot of time (users will need to do some uninstalling) but it’s worth a shot if battery life drops without warning.

If you’re not familiar with the process, here’s how to boot into Safe Mode:

  1. Power down the device. Then, press & hold the Power button and volume down key.
  2. Once it boots up, you can let go of the power button but keep the volume key held down.
  3. When you have successfully entered into Safe Mode, you will notice the text ‘Safe Mode’ at the bottom left corner of the screen.

It’s also worth restarting the Galaxy S4 to see if that will dislodge the problem. This has worked for us in the past. This reboot will clear the cache and kill off services that might be eating away at the battery. There are also some other smaller things to try.

Disabling NFC, Bluetooth, GPS, Air View, and any other unnecessary features could have a positive impact on battery life. Users that love live wallpapers might also want to think about switching to a static wallpaper to see if that helps.

How to Fix Galaxy S4 Wi-Fi Problems

Wi-Fi problems are common on all smartphones and Galaxy S4 users have encountered a number of Wi-Fi issues throughout the years. Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed fix for these problems and users will simply have to use trial and error to see what fixes work and which have no effect at all.

The first thing to do is reboot the Galaxy S4. Galaxy S4 users will also want to try rebooting your router if that hasn’t been done in awhile. We recommend unplugging the router for a good 30 seconds and then plugging it back in. You can do the same for the modem as well. Galaxy S4 owners experiencing Wi-Fi difficulties might also consider updating the routers firmware. If those simple fixes do not work, it’s worth heading into your device’s settings.

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First, try forcing Galaxy S4 to forget the Wi-Fi network that’s posing problems. Head to the desired connection in Settings and select the Forget Network option. Users will then need to reconnect to the Wi-Fi network with the password so that will need to be readily available once the process is complete.

It’s also worth going into Power Saving Mode to see if restrictions are in place. To access Power Saving Mode, head into Settings and then into the Power Saving Mode option. This is a known fix for Galaxy Wi-Fi issues and it could help here.

How to Fix Galaxy S4 Bluetooth Issues

Bluetooth issues are common on the Galaxy S4, just like they are on any smartphone. We’ve run into Bluetooth problems on the Galaxy S4 though a few simple steps alleviated the problem in no time at all.

The first thing to do is to try shifting Bluetooth on and off. To do this, head into Settings and then Bluetooth and toggle the service off and then back on again after a few moments. If that doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to forget the connection. Head into Bluetooth and forget your devices.

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Those trying to connect to a car will need to consult the car’s manual. There should be a way to reset Bluetooth though the process is going to be different for each make and model. Once the car’s Bluetooth has been reset and the connection has been forgotten on the Samsung Galaxy S4, try reconnecting to see if it works.

If that doesn’t work, we also recommend booting into Safe Mode (the instructions can be found above) which will disable third-party applications. This will allow Galaxy S4 users to check to see if apps are causing the problem. Once in awhile, they might be.

How to Fix Galaxy S4 Performance Issues

We’ve spoken to a number of Galaxy S4 users who are dealing with abnormal lag or sluggishness on the nearly two year old smartphone. While there isn’t a cure-all fix, Galaxy S4 users will be happy to know that there are a few things to try just in case things take a turn for the worst.

The first potential fix that we recommend is a process that will clear the cache partition. To clear the cache partition on the Galaxy S4, follow these fairly easy steps:

  • Turn the Galaxy S4 off.
  • Press and hold Home, Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously until the device vibrates.
  • When the Samsung logo appears, release them.
  • Tap Volume Down repeatedly until you Wipe Cache Partition. Select it with the power button. Select Yes.
  • Wait for the process to complete. It could take awhile.
  • Reboot your Galaxy S4.

We also recommend halting the use of live wallpapers as they can negatively impact performance. Galaxy S4 users can also try toggling NFC off if its not being used. This often provides gains in performance.

We also recommend turning off animations but only if things really go south on the Galaxy S4. To do this, hold down on a blank space on the screen, go to your Home Screen Settings then Transition effect and select None. Users can also try disabling some applications through Application Manager in device settings.

How to Fix Galaxy S4 Camera Problems

For years, we’ve heard complaints about Samsung’s camera application. Some users claim that it fails to open, other say that it will crash randomly for no reason. There are a few things to try if the Galaxy S4 camera app starts acting up.

To try and fix the lag in the camera app, tap on the little gear that’s situated on screen when you open the camera application. Trying disabling picture stabilization if it’s not needed. Its been known to cause lag. Users might also want to try resetting the camera settings to see if that has a positive effect on the camera app’s overall performance.

If the camera fails to load, first try restarting the phone. That seems to work for some Galaxy S4 users and it has worked for us in the past. Users can also try clearing the cache and and data for the camera app in the Application Manager found in Settings. To do that, select Force Stop, Clear Data, and Clear Cache. If that doesn’t work, try clearing the cache partition, a fix that we outlined above.

How to Fix Galaxy S4 App Problems

Those experiencing issues with third-party applications can try a few things to jumpstart performance. First, try updating the app. There’s a good chance that the developer’s recently rolled out a bug fix so Galaxy S4 users would be wise to give that a shot. Users can also try reinstalling the application. We’ve seen success with this method several times in the past.

If the problems continue, reach out to the developer and alert them to the problem. This will help them identify the problem and potentially fix it in a later update.

How to Fix Galaxy S4 Random Reboots

One issue that we’ve run into ourselves is random rebooting. We’ve seen the Galaxy S4 reboot, without warning, numerous times and while there is no permanent fix, there are a few things to try if the phone starts acting weird.

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First, we recommend booting into Safe Mode. We outlined the steps to take above. An application could be the source of the problem and Safe Mode will allow Galaxy S4 users to isolate the issue. Make sure those apps are up-to-date too.

If that doesn’t work, try removing the microSD card. In our case, removing the microSD card stopped the random reboots from happening. Some models simply don’t get along with Samsung’s hardware it seems.

How to Fix Galaxy S4 Problems if Nothing Works

If nothing here works, it’s probably time for a factory reset. This is a time consuming process and Galaxy S4 users need to ensure that files have been backed up before going down this road. It will wipe everything.

To do this, go into SettingsUser & Backup, and select Backup and Reset. From there, select Factory Data Reset. From there, select Reset Device and then Delete All.

If for whatever reason that doesn’t work, you can also factory reset using the hardware keys on your phone. Here’s how to do that. It’s a far more difficult process. We recommend the above route if possible.

  • First, you’ll need to turn the Galaxy S4 off.
  • Once its off, press and hold the Volume up button, the Home button, and the Power buttons together until you see an Android appear on the screen.
  • Once you see this, use the Volume down key to highlight the Wipe Data/Factory Reset option. Use the Power button to select it.
  • Use the Volume down key to select Yes – delete all user data and then use the Power button again to select it.
  • When you see the Reboot System Now option, you’ll know you’re on track. Use the Power button to select that option.
  • This will erase everything on the Galaxy S4 bringing it back to the state it was in when you first bought it. It also might fix the problems you’re having.

Sometimes, unorthodox fixes will work where common fixes fail. We also recommend taking a look at Android Central’s forums, one of our favorite Android-centric forums. Those who are still unable to find a fix should get in touch with their service provider or with Samsung itself.

31 Comments

  1. chelle

    02/28/2015 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks for your advice and the tips. I have been looking for how to fix another problem with my SG4. I have a Verizon I545 and I do have some third-party apps that I don’t know why they seem to constantly dump pictures of either their icons or some other random shots of really wierd pictures of some part of a game or opinions within the app. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but I have so much crap in my galleries from these type of pictures. Can anyone tell me what to do about this? 😎 I even get some from the pre-installed Samsung apps and it is frustrating to keep deleting these stupid pictures.

    Reply

  2. masood

    02/28/2015 at 3:13 pm

    Hi…i update my galaxy s4 i9500 to android 5.01 but many background app automatically close and i must open it again …ex i during a call in viber but viber close…or during download file with adm but close adm..how can fix this pls pls tell me in imail

    Reply

  3. wassil

    03/01/2015 at 6:21 pm

    I have updated new version lollipop for my s4 but it drains the battery and I can’t open the contact list it shows its not responding and the apps automatically gets closed if u have and solution for my problem plz help me

    Reply

  4. John Noonan

    04/15/2015 at 5:51 am

    Since my Samsung galaxy s4 GT-I9505 upgraded to version 5.0.1 I can’t see any texts except for the current text, and that is only by hovering over the message. If I press it, it goes straight to reply

    Reply

  5. Rhodora Ramirez

    04/30/2015 at 6:24 pm

    after updating my galaxy s4 I can’t hear the caller in my incoming and outgoing call. How to fix it? please help

    Reply

    • JRamirez1984

      08/19/2015 at 11:57 pm

      Did you ever figure out how to fix this problem? Please I’m desperate!!!

      Reply

      • alex

        03/13/2016 at 6:59 pm

        i have the same problem. sometimes the sound go out. also my phone gets to the home page but tells me the processor isnt responding?

        Reply

  6. Kristy

    05/11/2015 at 7:15 am

    Once in safe mode do I leave it in that or do I disenable? Do my apps that are shaded out (says on sd card) mean that they are corrupted?

    Reply

  7. david craig

    05/28/2015 at 8:02 pm

    NO HELP—- I have tried ALL on Bluetooth problems–HELP–I can connect to my auto (2014 Taurus) but cannot hear over the blur tooth in the car… if i change s4 to speaker phone I can hear and talk–JUST NOT COMING THRU TO BLUE TOOTH IN CAR…Had no problem until I updated to 5.0.1……

    I am now ready to go to iphone…… disgusted with android– this is the second device I have updated and the second device that does not work on android 5—-whatever…..

    Reply

  8. Carol

    06/20/2015 at 8:58 pm

    I cannot get my S4 to go into safe mode, My problem is that I cannot make phone calls using the phone book on the touch screen in my car when my phone is paired to my car .. can anyone help me out ? I took my phone to one of those mobile phone pop up stores in my local shopping centre.. and he wants to re program my blue tooth for $20 , I’m unsure wether to let him do it or not.. as it may void the warranty ??

    Reply

  9. Jim

    08/03/2015 at 10:30 am

    Everytime I turn on my phone, the software update shows up. I’ve gone through all of the steps again, and it doesn’t go away. Any ideas on how to stop this?

    Reply

    • Barry S. Jameson

      04/27/2016 at 10:18 pm

      I had a similar problem and took the battery out after calling my phone company. Rest it all and it went away.

      Reply

  10. Jeanine Olivier

    11/22/2015 at 11:40 am

    How do I repair it through PC and recover all data from device after I had

    Reply

  11. Jeanine Olivier

    11/22/2015 at 12:08 pm

    sorry synchronised my data before the phones power failed

    Reply

  12. David Rose

    12/02/2015 at 12:36 pm

    How do I remove the headset icon from the top of my phone.

    Reply

  13. Rachael Gane

    12/07/2015 at 5:42 pm

    My new galaxy s4 wont let me receive or make text or calls but my mobile data works with my sim which is Aldi mobile, phone was brought as an unlocked phone on ebay from hong kong my mobile supplier says my sim is working fine so it seems to be a partial block which only allows me to use mobile data.. Can anyone help with this?

    Reply

  14. moosa

    12/14/2015 at 7:58 pm

    i cant switch on my phone, when i took the batery and put it again it shows samsung and turn off otometicaly

    Reply

  15. danny

    02/10/2016 at 1:11 pm

    I switch my phone on but when it come on it stays on the Samsung screen and don’t do nothing else??

    Reply

    • Kara

      06/16/2017 at 7:28 pm

      Did you ever find out whatbthe problem was and how to fix it? Im kinda goingt through the same thing right now.

      Reply

  16. Charlie

    03/05/2016 at 1:39 pm

    Plz help my problem is that sometimes the wifi turns off and on auto by itself and we just want it to stay on wifi but it keeps going away for a short amount of time….help plz

    Reply

  17. Atilla Garay

    03/10/2016 at 1:12 pm

    Go to XDA and pose your questions there. More likely to get an answer that works. :)

    Reply

  18. MILLIS LAURIAN

    04/01/2016 at 8:03 pm

    Go baying an iphone and throw the samsung away-THE best way -I had 4 sets -a lot of problems and fails.not recomanded .

    Reply

  19. Scubz

    05/09/2016 at 1:08 am

    My right hand side of the screen is not working when I touch

    Reply

  20. shayan ktk

    02/04/2017 at 3:59 am

    Hey..
    My samsung s4 have some problems 1st it’s not producing sound even by a handphone 2nd its not connecting with PC via data cable 3rd it can2 open WiFi and Bluetooth

    Reply

  21. Tina soat

    02/10/2017 at 6:39 pm

    Hi I have a question about my samsung galaxy s4 I had it plugged in tonight charging and all at once it made a long beeping noise kind of like a smoke alarm going off I unplugged it and shut it off and turned it back on again and it didn’t make the noise ever since. I never had issues like that before and it is three years old. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you

    Reply

  22. Jessica

    03/13/2017 at 3:01 pm

    Safe Mode is not entered through using the Volume DOWN key but rather the VOLUME UP key. Holding the power+home+Volume DOWN key gets. You into downloading Custom OS. Thought I was going to screw up my whole phone. Luckily I brought it back to life and was able to enter Safe Mode correctly when restarting.

    Reply

  23. Bayo

    03/27/2017 at 4:52 am

    hi,
    i have a samsung galaxy S4 i bought from the the US last summer but i’m now using in Nigeria. Barely 4 months after puchasing the device, an android update was sent to me, which i installed but to my surprise the following day, the phone stopped working. The power will not come on and the battery refuse to be charged. What can i do?
    Thanks,
    Bayo

    Reply

  24. Bruzer

    04/14/2017 at 6:01 pm

    Samsung has ruined my perfectly working mobile device twice. The first time the hands off feature quit immediately. Second time the battery drains like a dam toilet. Please U.S.A. make a phone that works! We don’t need these constant failures from Korea!

    Reply

  25. Kara

    06/16/2017 at 7:24 pm

    Hello my Galaxy s4 died and when I try to turn it back on once it’s charged enough it just goes to the ‘A service of TracFone Wireless, Inc.’ Screen and nothing happens it just stays on that picture. I’m not sure what to do, I hope you could help in some way.
    Thank you.

    Reply

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